How To Become Healthy
This past few days I was suffering from the feeling of always being tired. I feel so weak and heavy inside. Almost all of my joints are aching particularly my hands and feet. It feel so uncomfortable and painful inside. My hip down towards my thighs, legs and feet seems like there's no energy that I don't even want to stand up and even if I'm lying down in bed, I'm still not comfortable with. Please HELP!
This is a rather long post and there is a video for you to watch. Please read what I have written below the video too, and post back with your thoughts.
I've followed many of your posts and recognize that you have gone through a TREMENDOUS amount of stress in the past few years, and especially in the past few months.
Pregnancy and caring for children is very hard on the body. You've done this 4 times, plus you are still breastfeeding your toddler (if I remember correctly). If you have had any deaths in the family, started or stopped any jobs, moved, gotten married, divorced or had any change in relationships (i.e. husband leaving) these are some of the biggest causes of stress. If you take all of that and then just add the typical stressors of life (providing for your family, and curve balls that life throws your way) you have a recipe for exhaustion, which is what I believe you are experiencing.
There are two little glands in our bodies that are called the Adrenals. They sit on top of your kidneys and are fairly small. But they play a very large role in keeping your body alive and functioning.
The adrenals produce large amounts of cortisol (a hormone) in response to long term stress. I'm not talking about the bursts of stress you might feel if a tiger were going to attack - I'm talking about the long term every day stress that comes when we are mentally worried/upset, or physical exertion from working too hard and not getting enough rest.
When there is a large amount of cortisol in the body (and sometime adrenaline too), we can feel wired or have a hard time going to sleep or getting a good, solid night's rest.
But after awhile, the adrenals literally get tired and cannot keep up production of cortisol in response to continual stress. So what happens? They slow down the production of cortisol, and can even get to a point where they stop producing cortisol (which is then called Addison's Disease and is life threatening). You cannot live without adrenal function.
I believe that you may have Adrenal Exhaustion which is the 3rd stage of Adrenal Fatigue, and is where a tremendous amount of rest is necessary. You could also be going into stage 4, which could be a medical emergency where the body has basically given up and is in survival mode, where the body basically gives up. Some of the symptoms of Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue are: Exhaustion, depression, joint pain, hair loss, fuzzy memory, low immune function (get sick easily or often), itchy skin, cry easily, startle easily and you'll often find yourself sighing. You will also have very little energy to even take a walk. Oh, and blood pressure is low so that you sometimes feel dizzy when you stand up. You may also find that you crave salt because the body looses salt quickly when the adrenals are not functioning well and you gain weight around your middle/tummy area.
Here's an excellent video by Dr. Lam that shows you the different stages of Adrenal Fatigue.
I would highly recommend that you have your cortisol levels tested. The best tests are saliva tests, but most doctors/hospitals will not order the saliva tests. Blood tests are normally ordered, but they are not as good of indicators as saliva tests. However, if you are substantially depleted in cortisol, my guess is that it would show up in the blood, and this is what I would have tested.
I would also have your thyroid function tested. This would be a TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) test. If the TSH comes back out of range (or in the "low normal or high normal" range) then I would ask for a T3 and a T4 test. The Free T3 and Free T4 tests are best, but, again, your doctor will most likely not order this (they may not even know what a Free T3 or Free T4 test is). The "Free" test shows how much thyroid hormone is being excreted by the body. You would take a 50 mg tablet of iodine (or whatever the doctor gives) and then you collect your urine over the course of 24 hours. The urine is tested, and whatever came out in the urine is what the body is not using - whatever did not come out in the urine is what the body is using. It's just a better test of how well the body is utilizing iodine.
It can be difficult to determine if the Adrenals are impacting the thyroid function or if the thyroid is not functioning without low adrenal function impacting them. But either way, if you have adrenal fatigue, the thyroid will often suffer.
Using iodized salt can be helpful on a daily basis, but isn't enough if you need to correct a substantial deficiency.
The things you can do right now, today, is to stop eating sugar and refined flour products (i.e. crackers, cookies, cakes, muffins, pies, candy, etc.) Stop eating pasta and white rice (eat brown rice instead) and start eating high quality animal protein and lots of fresh or steamed vegetables and fruit.
You need to take a high quality multi-vitamin (ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE STILL BREASTFEEDING) and a B-Complex vitamin would be very helpful as well.
Be sure you're getting plenty of rest. Listen to your body and don't push yourself. Ask your mother and your sister and cousins for help. Let the housework go. Ask your girls to help with food preparation. This is not something that is negotiable. If you keep pushing to do everything you feel you need to do, you will likely end up in the hospital (this is SERIOUS).
Normally I would not respond so strongly to a post like this, but I know some of your recent history and I'm very concerned about what the stress is doing to you.
Please see your doctor and ask him to test for these things and also let him know that you want to be sure you have good adrenal function. That will at least clue him in to what could be the cause of the problem. We want to treat the problem, not just the symptoms.
Sometimes people's adrenal function never return and they have to be on medications/supplements for the rest of their life, but adrenal function can be rebuilt - you just have to work with a practitioner who knows how to guide you in this.
Please post your thoughts.
Thanks for the very serious and long response to my post. I'm now starting to get worry about my health. Yes, I know I've gone too many stressful situations before and at present. I'm afraid about my health condition right now. I know I need to see a doctor. I needed to save first to have this done. I'll update you on this.
How are you feeling? Are you able to get more rest? Have you been able to see your doctor or get some vitamins?
Thinking of you,
To become healthy workout regularly, practice yoga and have balanced diet meal plan. Increase your water intake, eat fruits and vegetables more in your diet meals and manage stress. Quit alcohol, smoking and caffeine and do not eat late.